GRP’s quick Railway Info via.SMS a hit with Commuters

grp in service of railwaysMumbai: One lakh commuters have subscribed to the Government Railway Police’s (GRP) text alert service ‘Sameep’ in order to get information on disruption in services, security issues and clarification on rumours while on the move.

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had launched Sameep on January 13.

Commuters said that text alerts work for them as accessing the internet may not always be possible on a running train. The GRP plans to make an offer to WR and CR to send all passenger-related communication through the service.

Sachin Tendulkar during the inauguration of SAMEEP - a GRP initiative for Rail Safety
Sachin Tendulkar during the inauguration of SAMEEP – a GRP initiative for Rail Safety

“Our aim is to give authentic information as soon as possible and eliminate confusion or panic among commuters. When Whatsapp messages on ISIS terrorists landing at city railway stations did the rounds, we sent text alerts clarifying that it was a rumour,” said GRP commissioner Madhukar Pandey.

Extra locals announced on certain days such as to get to the Mumbai Marathon venue, or disruptions that last for over an hour and could snowball into a law-and-order problem are communicated. On February 22, a bag abandoned at Ghatkopar station at night made commuters edgy. Text alerts sent as a part of Sameep assured people that the bag only contained clothes.

Since its launch, 42 alerts have been sent as part of Sameep. “The service is free for commuters,” said Pandey.

Sachin Tendulkar and Railway Police Commissioner Madhukar Pandey at the launch of the safety campaign.
Sachin Tendulkar and Railway Police Commissioner Madhukar Pandey at the launch of the safety campaign.
Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday recalled a scary experience which he underwent during his school days while crossing the rail tracks here. The former India batsman was speaking at the launch of two initiatives by the Mumbai Railway Police — SAMEEP (Safety Alert Messages Exclusively For Passengers) and B-Safe.
“Right from the age of 11, I travelled by trains in Mumbai. When I travelled, I had a kit-bag. I have also experienced jostling, being pushed in and out of trains…these experiences will stay with me,” Tendulkar said. “In school, I had gone to Vile Parle to a friend’s place. We — five or six boys — had practiced in the morning and had gone to his place for lunch. Then we decided to watch a movie.

After watching the movie, we got late for practice and hence we decided to cross railway tracks and go to the platform, and board the train at Dadar,” he added. The 42-year-old talking about the horrific incident said, “While crossing the tracks, halfway, we realised that trains were coming fast on all the tracks. We ended up crouching on our knees in between the tracks with our kits. That was a scary experience and then onwards we never crossed train tracks.” Tendulkar also urged all rail commuters not to sit on train roofs and to avoid travel if the train is crowded.
Sachin Tendulkar launching GRP's SAMEEP in Mumbai
“I feel in today’s world every minute matters, there is competition everywhere. I feel, a lot of time (the thinking is) if we cross railway tracks, then we will reach quicker, there will be benefit of five minutes instead of crossing the bridge while going to the other platform. These are small things – one, you are breaking the law, and you are risking life for five minutes,” he said. “Your family and friends are waiting for you back home and if you reach there five minutes later it really does not matter. It is important to be there, safe and sound, rather than be in hospital. I will request: do not sit on the train roof and travel if the train is crowded. Everyone is hard pressed for time, but still (I ask you), leave that train, be patient and do not break rules,” Tendulkar said.
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